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New Phenom triple-core processor coming in 2008

AMD today updated its roadmap with another multi-core processor, to slot between its dual and quad-core processors – Phenom triple-core processors. The new Phenom triple-core processors feature three processing cores on a single die and based on AMD’s Barcelona architecture, which launched last week in Opteron form.

The new triple-core processors will feature similar specifications as its upcoming Phenom X2 and X4 brethren. The Socket AM2+ processors feature 512KB of L2 cache for each core and a shared pool of L3 cache. Essentially, the Phenom triple-core processors are quad-core variants with one core disabled. This allows AMD to simply disable one core on quad-core dies for maximum use of a single wafer.

AMD claims to be the only company to offer tri-core processors, which the company claims to bring “true multi-core technology to a broader audience.” AMD has not given the Phenom triple-core processors an official name yet. However, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the tri-core processors followed the current Phenon naming scheme and received the Phenom X3 name.

“With our advanced multi-core architecture, AMD is in a unique position to enable a wider range of premium desktop solutions, providing a smarter choice for customers and end users,” said Greg White, vice president and general manager, Desktop Division, AMD. “As a customer-centric company, AMD is committed to working with our OEMs to deliver compelling value propositions across their multi-core product families with capabilities that address their requirements and aspirations.”

Features unique to AMD’s Barcelona and Stars architectures such as split power planes and dynamic independent core speed adjustments remain supported on triple-core processors. Additionally, AMD Phenom triple-core processors support HyperTransport 3.0 for up to 16GB/second of I/O bandwidth.

AMD claims significant performance gains over dual-core processors with its triple-core processors in benchmarks such as SYSmark 2007 and 3DMark06, where gaming and digital content creation performance is key.

“A continued commitment to elegant design and innovative processor architecture is instrumental to revolutionizing the technology industry,” said Richard Shim, research manager for IDC's Personal Computing program. “The advent of triple-core processors is a valuable market opportunity for customers to deliver end users compelling solutions and further differentiate on the desktop.”

Expect AMD to launch its Phenom triple-core processors in Q1 2008. AMD plans to launch its quad-core Phenom X4 next quarter.

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conflicting information
By phatboye on 9/18/2007 12:05:26 AM , Rating: 4
OK according to xbitlabs the "X3" is not a X4 with one core disabled
The new triple-core microprocessors will feature its own design and will not be quad-core chips with one core disabled, according to the web-site.

but according to this site it is. Or am I reading this wrong because it says essentially?
Essentially, the Phenom triple-core processors are quad-core variants with one core disabled.

RE: conflicting information
By jak3676 on 9/18/2007 12:28:54 AM , Rating: 2
Interersting - the article said it may not be a quad-core with a core disabled, but it may be its own design that could be turned into a dual core if one of the three cores had issues.

Everything I read on this seems to somehow tie it back to a fail-safe in case there are issues with one of the cores.

RE: conflicting information
By Justin Case on 9/18/2007 11:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
While AMD may have some plans for "native" 3-core chips (or chips with 3 x86 cores plus an on-die GPU), at this moment that would not make any commercial sense. Producing two different designs would be far more expensive than simply fusing off one of the cores in a quad-core chip.

That X-bit Labs article simply quotes from "Hard Tecs 4U", which I had never heard about until now, and the "Hard Tecs" article doesn't mention any sources.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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